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Parents Panic When Robo Call Says Kids Aren't in School

The Short of It

Revere Middle School in Ohio had parents freaking out over the whereabouts of their children when an automated robo call rang, not once, but two times, relaying the message that their children were not present in school.

The Lowdown

Parents had just dropped their kids off at school or watched them get on the bus not long before the mass alert was sent. Frantic parents called their kids directly, only to be forwarded to voicemail because their phones were silenced during class. So, parents started flooding the school’s phone lines. The school tried to resend a corrected message out ASAP, but the overcrowded phone system caused a 30-minute delay. 

When one mom couldn't get in touch with anyone, she told WKYC TV that she had no choice but to call 911. Making matters extra worse for her was the fact she was traveling and couldn't just drive over to the school. 

"I've been told that my daughter isn't in school at the middle school in Revere, and I have no idea where she is. She's not answering her texts, or anything," she told the 911 dispatcher.  

Because this snap-into-action mom was one of the first to report a problem at the school to authorities, the dispatcher wasn't clear what was really going on. The 911 dispatchers received nearly 159 calls. Eventually, parents logged onto the school website and were relieved to read the robo call was sent out in error. The message said:

Dear Parents and Families,

A "Robo Call" error was made this morning. Two messages went out to parents from Blackboard Connect notifying them that their child was absent at school today. Please be assured that ALL students have been accounted for. Students who are truly absent today, will receive individual phone calls from the building that their child attends. We apologize for this error and any disruption this may have caused.

Thank you,

Revere Local Schools

The Upshot

Talk about a mess! As my child heads off to second grade next week, this story has encouraged me to buddy up with some other moms, so we can communicate if something like this were to happen in our district. I often hop online, so I could quickly text friends if there was an error.

There's something to be said about rushed mornings, too. We should all slow down and kiss our kids before they climb the school bus steps and pay attention to their attire, just in case of an emergency situation.

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